Second Cup Coffee Company is expanding in the UK

A new franchise in the UK,  Second Cup cafe in Birmingham opened last November. We interviewed the owner, Jags Manhota, on what it means to open such a franchise and how the first half year went. 

The third franchise of Second Cup Coffee Company in the UK, this Birmingham cafe opened after the ones in London and Manchester. New ones will open in Putney, Harrow, Cardiff and another one in London. Jags talks about the expansion plans:

Second Cup have a very ambitious vision to have 500 cafes in the UK within 10 years. I’m pleased to say that it’s likely that by the end of the year there will be 10 in the UK.

Talking about what this brand has to offer and why he chose it, the Birmingham entrepreneur says:

We bring something different that our competitors can’t bring, which is a huge variety of coffees. We are not constrained to the single bean, but lots of different coffees, like Cuzco from Peru, Columbian, Indonesian, Brazilian, Ethiopian as well.

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Location, location, location

Let us say that a local entrepreneur has got a fair amount of money which they can invest in opening a franchise. Jags says he invested over a quarter of a million pound to open Second Cup cafe on Birmingham New Street. The next step is finding a suitable location.

For Jags, finding the right spot proved difficult. He had to convince the new brad was worth it. The entrepreneur explains:

The hardest part was convincing local landlords that we were a great brand that they should have. And that process took almost 2 years.

Why would you open a franchise?

I asked Jags why he chose to open a franchise rather than his own, local business. For one, it is experience: he worked with McDonald’s for more than two decades. Then he decided to open this Second Cup cafe.

Talking about what franchising is about and  why he chose this company, Jags says:

Franchising is a collaboration between a local entrepreneur and a system that works. And Second Cup International works. It’s all over the Middle East, it’s coming into Europe, Switzerland, France, the UK. The products come from Second Cup, and the hospitality is delivered locally by our staff.


Jags names a few advantages of running a franchise:

  • the support the big company gives you;
  • the training they bring;
  • the ideas which have been done and tested and proved successful;
  • the franchisee offers the local knowledge to the big brand.

Anybody interested to do the same as he did should just contact the director of the European franchising department, on the company’s website.

How long does it take to train a barista?

None of the 14 staff members currently working in Jags cafe had any previous coffee experience. One of the 6 baristas, Joss Nichols, won the International Second Cup World Championship.

But how does a barista get trained with Second Cup?

According to Jags, it takes at least a week of online training, going through 21 modules. These cover Second Cup history, origins of the coffee and teas sold, knowledge on costumer interaction and hospitality.

Jags adds:

To be a good barista I’d say you’re always learning.

Watch the whole video interview with Jags Manhota.

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